News Column

Edinburgh 2014 review: KlangHaus – weirdly wonderful performance art

August 12, 2014

Lyn Gardner,

Don't worry that KlangHaus appears under the music section of the fringe programme. This live gig by noise-art collaborators the Neutrinos and Sal Pittman is pure theatre. Or at least live art. "That was weird," somebody announced on the way out. It is weirdly wonderful.

What makes the show so interesting is the way it it feels as if the walls of the space and the music everything from electronica to soft lamentation are genuinely in dialogue with each other. The disused part of Summerhall where KlangHaus is performed used to be a small-animal hospital, and the history of the space and the performance inform each other right to the final disappearing act. The ghosts crowd in.

The show and it's a show where animation and illusion each play a part takes that on board. You hear the constant banging of a cage door, see paper birds suspended as if they have escaped, glimpse plastic rabbits with bleeding throats. You might come across a caged human, or think you can detect the squeak of a frightened animal behind the music. Cupboards are labelled "topical preparations" and "dental ointment". "She's a butcher of common sense " goes one of the lyrics.

Don't expect some kind of immersive, Punchdrunk experience; KlangHaus is far more understated, and the performance is nuanced rather than spelled out. But, from the initial journey up in the lift, it is always a bit of adventure, in which the spaces become a series of rabbit holes, exploding with music around which we are cleverly herded like a flock of small, slightly bemused sheep. But not to slaughter: light plays gently across the walls, rooms open up from behind dazzling lights and figures are half-glimpsed, as if in a dream. You emerge, blinking into the light, like a dozy guinea pig, not quite sure what you have seen and heard.

Until 24 August. Box office: 0131-226 0000. Venue: Summerhall, Edinburgh.

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Source: Guardian Web

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